Black and White

At Arcodoro (5000 Westheimer, 713-621-6888), the city's only Sardinian restaurant, they take pearly white Arborio rice and cook it in squid ink, which turns the Italian grain black. It is also the only place in town you can find risotto al nero di seppia con gamberi ($17.50). Since the island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, is considered an Italian region, its cuisine bears a striking resemblance to the mainland's. This dish is served with three jumbo garlic shrimp, butterflied and grilled, then perched around a heaping mound of rice. It is a dramatic-looking plate with the white grains trying desperately to peek through the intense inky blackness. Far from being fishy, the risotto tastes of chicken stock, onions and wine, which form the foundation of the classic risotto.

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Paul Galvani